This has been a very different year thanks to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, however we have had plenty of Eurovision related music to enjoy. Here at Eurovision Ireland and our friends from the around the Eurovision Community, we have chosen just five tracks that have summed up our year – coming from the Eurovision National Finals, the cancelled 2020 Eurovision Song Contest, Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light, Eurovision: The Story Of Fire Saga, the Junior Song Contest 2020 and the Turkvision Song Contest 2020.
First up is John Stanton, with tracks selected from Estonia, Bashkortostan, Switzerland, Ukraine and Italy.
“Üks kord veel”
I was lucky enough to be at Eesti Laul in February, and this was my favourite song of that competition. Local hero Stig Rästa, as part of the band Traffic, was partly behind this very well-crafted song. I was as shocked as some when not only did not win, but it didn’t even make it to Eesti Laul’s Super Final. Let’s hope Traffic come back again sometime soon.
Just when we thought the year was going out with a whimper and not a bang, along comes Turkvision 2020. A contest taking entries from nation states and Turkic-speaking regions, it provides a very interesting take on the international singing competition. This particular song from Russia’s Bashkortostan – amidst an interesting mix of performances in front of a psychedelic backdrop –was the most memorable for me.
Switzerland raised their game in Tel Aviv and proved that past performance is no guide to future performance. For Rotterdam they picked this corker of a song sung in French, by a Swiss of Albanian extraction. How very international. It may well have been in a similar vein to Duncan Laurence’s ‘Arcade’, but it was still something that may have cut through some of the histrionics of other songs in Rotterdam and done really well. Old Gjon can definitely carry a tune, and I’m really pleased we’ll seem him again in May 2021.
This may be an unusual choice for some. When we finally got to see a Eurovision Songs Contest, it was the Junior strain in November. I’ve picked this not so much for the sing, but for the star quality of the singer. Like many songs in JESC, this would have held its own at a Big ESC. It may not have been the best song, but young Oleksandr sold it so well. It must only be a matter of time before we see him at the big contest.
This is my number one from 2020, and I loved this song from the first time I heard it. Sanremo – to me at least – always has the highest standard of songs, even if the show itself can sometimes be a tad long. I was pleased when Diodato agreed to go to Rotterdam, and figured that the Italians would have another good placing – maybe even a win. As we know, all we had was a celebration of the contest instead. To the EBU’s credit, one of the highlights was that showstopper of a performance in Verona. As far as I’m concerned, you can forget songs from other countries, this would have been a fine winner of the 2020 contest.
Author: Richard Taylor
Source: Eurovision Ireland